Gyumri's historic pak shuka (covered market) once occupied the land now occupied by Vardanants Sq. Levelled during the Soviet era, the stallholders moved their businesses a few blocks northeast, between Shahumian and Haghtanak Sts, where they remain today. The now uncovered shuka is one of the largest in Armenia, crammed with stalls selling fruit and vegetables, freshly ground coffee, pungent cheeses and basturma (cured meat), bread, bottles of cognac and much more.